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Campaign Battleground States Pennsylvania News/Business. (2012) Pennsylvania's role in the 2012 presidential election.

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Pennsylvania 71, Pittsburgh 11, Us 10, Tom Smith 9, Josh Shapiro 7, Casey 7, Obama 6, Robert Gleason 6, Terry Madonna 6, Barack Obama 5, Romney 4, Chester 4, U.s. 4, Scranton 4, Us From Pennsylvania 4, Mexico 3, Lehigh 3, Northampton 3, Karen 3, Florida 3,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    Campaign Battleground States Pennsylvania  News/Business.   
   (2012) Pennsylvania's role in the 2012 presidential election.  

    October 29, 2012
    2:00 - 3:30am EDT  

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the cartels and mexico. this is something we have to get a handle on. we are stuck in the stereotypes. el paso is the safest city in america for a city its a great economic engine for our state, great communities. >> i have stated that think we should triple the u.s. border patrol. we have to get serious and solve the problem of securing the border. this raises an important question -- mexico is a great and mighty nation, and it is tragic what is happening in mexico, the violence. i was visiting with a mexican businessman some time ago who described to me how he received from the drug lords a letter that detailed where every one of his grand kids had been for the past week, minute by minute. it is tragic what is happening -- getting to the united states should work cooperatively with mexico to help the mexican
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government solve this problem, stop the violence, and stop the drug lords terrorize and some of the innocent citizens. >> the texas senate seat held by retiring senator kay bailey hutchison is one of the key races you can watch on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org /campaign2012. >> now, several perspectives on the presidential campaign in the battleground state of pennsylvania from ""washington journal." this is an hour and 20 minutes. >> "washington journal" -- we are focusing on key battleground states in campaign 2012. today the spotlight is the keystone state, pennsylvania. joining us from harrisburg is terry madonna, with the center politics at franklin and marshall college. thank you for being with us. guest: good morning.
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host: let me begin with a broad overview of the political geography of pennsylvania, the comparison between east and west. guest: first of all, like any battleground state, you have large parts are ready, large parts that are blue. if you take a look at the western part of the state, the southwest particularly, the counties surrounding it, once you leave the pittsburgh metropolitan area, which is democratic, you run into the old mining and miltown areas where coal and steel and lead and paint and glass -- all those industries that may pennsylvania economy dominate, in particular steel and coal, over the course of about 40 years after world war ii, those industries went away. the economy suffered and
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suffered severely. the voters out there are typically democratic blue-collar working-class men and women, roman catholic in religion -- certainly not all of them, and pro-union. these were the quintessential reagan democrats. they were in counties adjacent to pittsburgh like beaver and westmorland and washington and corrine and further to the east -- kim-shree and fayette. those counties have a propensity to vote republican, particularly in the elections. they are culturally conservative, pro-gun, pro-life, not particularly fond of gay- rights. then think of pennsylvania, draw a big t up the center of the state, fanned out across the new york border, not quite getting to erie or the northeastern part
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of the state, the big t -- that is the conservative area of the state. basically white, protestant, does not have a definable ethnic group in particular. once you get east of the susquehanna river, with the exception of a few counties, the demography changed sharply. let's get down to southeast -- philadelphia, heavily democratic -- democratic, but the suburban counties, and montgomery, chester, delaware, the swing townies. two of them now have a democratic edge, two of them have a republican registration edge. to win pennsylvania, you have to do very well in the swing townies and then move up a little bit -- counties and then move up to the north. allentown, lehigh county, northampton county. if you take the four suburban counties and the two lehigh
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valley counties, swing the county's -- windows counties in aggregate, the total vote, you probably will win the state of pennsylvania. in the northeastern part of the state, heavily democratic, scranton, might be best known that joe biden is from there and hillary clinton, her dad was born there. eveready starts to campaign in scranton one way or another -- "the office," said, scranton, a town, voters have the gene for politics. host: a phone line to set aside for those of you who lived in pennsylvania. we want to hear from you as we focus on the key battleground state. terry madonna, since 1988, pennsylvania has gone democratic, the last time voting
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for republican bienick george herbert walker bush. why? guest: the democrats have been able to win suburban voters. , at a philadelphia with a huge edge -- the largest municipality in the state, a heavy concentration of democrats. if you win philadelphia and the suburbs, the four counties in lehigh valley -- out of the southeast by 650,000 votes, is pretty difficult to overcome that edge in other parts of the state, even if the republicans win that infamous t that we often refer to. the other point to remember about pennsylvania is that is dominated for the most part by one television market. there are six tv markets in the state, but philadelphia covers 40% of the voters of the state. all of delaware, which for our
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conversation is important, and the southern half of new jersey. in order to probably be effective in the television advertising business, a campaign -- you have to really advertise in philadelphia television market, which goes back to the lehigh valley, way out into the western, moving closer to such scope -- the susquehanna river. in lancaster county, you can get philadelphia television. other counties go right to the lehigh valley -- very important television market. to win pennsylvania, that is what democrats are able to do -- they did very well in the suburbs and lehigh valley. they won philadelphia and held on to pittsburgh and held there on in those counties out in southwestern part of the state that increasingly have voted republican in big elections. host: pennsylvania -- 20
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electoral votes. in 2008, barack obama won by 10%. unemployment in the state is nearing what we have nationwide, 8.2%. terry madonna, neighboring ohio is getting a lot of attention with its 18 electoral votes -- was so different between ohio and pennsylvania that makes the buckeye state more of a battleground in pennsylvania, at least the moment? guest: the essential difference is that ohio has a good many more moderate independent voters at this point which are likely to vote either republican or democrat. as i pointed out a moment ago, the reason the democrats of done well as they have captured the suburbs of our state in these last presidential elections in recent years. that has been the defining difference -- you have the big swath of in the middle, of ohio in columbus that is the
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battleground area. obviously the cleveland area in the northeastern part of the state is democratic. the cincinnati part in the southwest is more republican. ohio has a larger pool of the swing voters, if you will, and more evenly balanced between the democratic and republican regions of the state. pennsylvania has this huge portion of moderate independent- minded voters, moderate in political ideology, and they can swing the state either way depending on if they bounce one way or another. the current governor of our state, two years ago when a republican swept pennsylvania, as did many other parts of the state, for example, every one of those swing the county's i have been talking about, with the exception of two -- he won bucks
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county, lehigh county, northampton county, and if you on the fringe. i like to put it this way -- we are not quite new jersey, meaning pretty blue, and we are not quite purple as ohio is. we are light blue. under the right circumstances republicans can win a stay, but right now the race in pennsylvania has been pretty stable for the last two or three weeks. host: let me ask you about election nights -- when the returns are coming in, the early morning hours of november 7, when you look at pennsylvania, what will you be looking for? guest: turnout in philadelphia, a vote totals in montgomery and delaware county, the vote totals in the high and northampton. they are big counties -- they are counties that we look to that give us some sense of how the state might go.
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obviously, you will want to know turnout differential by county. to see if there is something markedly different. pennsylvania's turned out pretty much nears the turnout nationally. i would not expect our turnout to be more than 2% off of what the national turnout was, slightly above 60% of eligible voters nationwide. 62% four years ago -- pennsylvania will be in that range. in a close race, it is really close, then you have to go out into the southwestern part of the state into the county's i've talked about, the blue collar counties, typically reporting in pennsylvania comes earlier in the urban areas and the southeastern part of the state. at times when elections are close, we are actually waiting for those votes out west to come in that can often make the
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difference as to which candidate windsor loses. host: our guest is terry madonna, who was written a number of books on pennsylvania politics and is the director of the center for politics and public affairs and a professor at franklin and marshall college. he has worked with a number of leading news organizations across the state. next is karen, joining us from pennsylvania. good morning to you. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i wanted your guest to address the situation of the redistricting going on. i live in the lehigh valley. i know it is an area where they're trying to redraw the district lines. even if pennsylvania goes democratic this election, they are doing everything they can to make sure that that changes in the future. i think it was overshadowed by the voter i.d. issue that was
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going on in pennsylvania this year, but i was hoping that you could maybe explain that to us and what it means. host: thank you, karen. guest: i think karen may be talking about the congressional redistricting, which took place last year. basically, pennsylvania has 1 million more registered democrats than republicans. they have 12 republicans in the congressional delegation, six democrats. pennsylvania law speak to the apportioning process. the republican-controlled legislature essentially redrew the congressional boundary lines, moving some seats that were vulnerable in the eastern part of the state, three of them in at the philadelphia suburbs, one of them, one of them in the lehigh valley and one of them up in scranton. basically running the west and
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south to try to pick up more republicans without getting into the details of it -- karen lives in one of those areas where the boundary lines were redrawn. i do not know which congressman -- that might be in the 15th, with charlie dent. that was the lehigh valley seat. then out comes down to south central pennsylvania. or she could be in a seat held by a republican, lou barletta. that district was redrawn -- that district now comes the whole way down to the state capital, picking up more republicans. here is a way to think about that at the moment -- in competitive terms. nobody believes, independent analysts, nobody believes that of the 18 congressional seats, that more than two of them aren't like. -- are in play. the trough is currently held by
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a democrat -- -- 12t is currently held by democrats. you could argue that the eighth congressional district, held by mike fitzpatrick, is in play, but by the end of the day on november 6 when we will see basically is that republicans still in control easily of the congressional delegation in our state. >> bloomberg news has five pennsylvania counties to watch on election night -- they include chester, lehigh, monroe, and bucks county. compared to what happened in 2004 and 2008, all in the eastern and southeastern part. matt is joining us from pennsylvania. good morning to you. caller: good morning -- how are you guys doing? host: fine. go ahead with your question. caller: more of a comment. the way you were talking about redistricting and also the voter
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i.d. law -- i also want to mention that what the republican party did to the libertarian party and the constitution party, the republican party is definitely -- with the voter i.d. law, all they want to do is disenfranchise the voter, ok? the republican party -- the libertarian party went through nine weeks of hell just to get 1% of the vote. the libertarian party never got more than 1% of the vote nationally, and i think it is absolutely ridiculous, i volunteered for the libertarian party, and they were arguing over signatures that were
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absolute signatures. what a waste of time and money, taxpayer money, because that had to go into the courts. host: let me ask terry madonna about their parties and the pennsylvania ballot. guest: for the presidency, gary johnson will be on the ballot, as will jill stein from the green party. both pennsylvania voters -- will have essentially four choices for the presidency. guehost: the headline from the "philadelphia inquirer," obama still ahead, but romney up. joining us is the politics writer for the "philadelphia inquirer." how many do survey, what were the results? caller: this is a survey of 600 likely voters, all last week, tuesday through thursday. the margin of error is four
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percentage points. pennsylvania -- it has narrowed a little bit. it has swings towards romney a net two%. our last poll, just after the first debate -- is edging up, but obama has a steady lead. it is a democratic-leaning state these days. there has not been an awful lot of campaign activity in terms of action by the candidates. more important advertising -- they have not really targeted the state this year, unlike 2008 and the previous four cycles. host: there is an awful lot of advertising in the separate -- senate race, particularly by tom smith, the republican nominee. your polling shows that race is closer -- senator casey is still
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holding a lead of seven points over tom smith. what is happening in that race? caller: it is a simple matter of if you spend $17 million of your own money you can get hearing from people. senator caseous a member -- casey is a member of an institution that is not very popular these days, the congress. smith has gained traction just on the strength of his message. introducing himself to voters. that could be one of the surprises on election night. host: let's take this question today is -- two ways -- what can republicans read into the polling numbers? caller: on the presidential race? i think republicans -- president obama is at 49%, still below
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50%. it seems as if pennsylvania could be a little more competitive if they made a last- minute push. one of the super pac's, americans for job security, has bought about half a million dollars of time in the philadelphia market, this was as of friday. it is quite possible they will be making it least a tentative play for the state. it could be in reach. it tightened in pennsylvania for romney just based on the national trend and based on news coverage and what is going on in the race generally, they have got brown the voter contact on the ground. no real number moving-ad. this could be potential there. host: what can democrats read
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into these numbers? caller: further down into the paoll, an unusually high percentage of pennsylvania voters approved obama's job performance -- 53% of them. democrats can feel probably a little reassured -- it is difficult to imagine a president with that high again approval rating -- of an approval rating in this environment getting thrown out, getting rejected. caller: he covers politics for the "philadelphia inquirer." the poll out this morning -- results available online. thank you for being with us. let's give back your phone calls. mike joins us from pennsylvania, democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, with the controversy around the voter
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i.d. issue, the republican legislature suppressing turnout, do you think this will in any way suppress turnout and, if so, will it be enough to effect the margins in any way? thanks. host: thanks for the call. guest: last march, the legislature passed a law that requires pennsylvania voters to show up with one of six approved photo id is. if you did not have one in the meantime, the state would provide you with one. you had to go through certain procedures to get a photo id. more recently, in the last few weeks, a state judge simply set aside that particular provision of the law so that pennsylvanian is on november 6 -- you'll be asked to show one of those six forms of id. if you do not have one, however,
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you still will be permitted to vote and your vote will count. not provisionally, as the law would have required before that portion of it was set aside, so for all practical purposes pennsylvanians will be asked to do what they were asked to do in april during the primary -- show an id, you do not have one, that is fine, you can still vote without one and your vote will count. there are 175 organizations in the state that have been working to be sure that pennsylvanians understand the procedure that will be followed. i do not think it is going to have a huge impact as it might have had if you were forced -- if you are required to provide a form of id and then be allowed to vote provisionally. the provisional vote, without getting too technical, meant that in six state -- six days you had to provide one of those forms of id for a vote count.
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in the and i do not think it'll make a big difference, largely because even though there is some confusion about where it stands now there has been a lot going on to try to explain that to people. the voters will show up and be prepared to vote -- it should not be a huge controversy. the lot remains -- other parts remain in the factory the forms of id. -- in the fact. the forms of id. they have not been finalized by the state supreme court, which some think will occur next year. host: early voting is underway and half the country. early voting is underway in colorado, nevada, florida, iowa, ohio, virginia, and new hampshire. it is not taking place in pennsylvania. why? we do not have an early voting law.
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you can vote by absentee, but it has to be for a particular reason. you cannot get a absentee ballot for any reason -- you have to be ill or out of the state. essentially, for all practical purposes, voting will take place on november 6. one of the arguments that has been used by republicans about why there is no television commercials, as tom fitzgerald pointed out, we will see some in philadelphia, maybe some in pittsburgh by romney campaign -- some say just to reach the eastern parts of ohio. it is largely because there is no reason to communicate with voters simply because there is no early voting. unlike many other battleground states, you cannot buy any more space -- there's plenty of
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airlines in the -- airtime on pennsylvania television stations. we're the second most advertised state from the third weekend's a september until labor day four years ago, something like $29 million. up to this point, until tom this job was talking about the ad by -- nothing. no commercials and the state. the same provisions -- we have had two visits by either a presidential or a vice presidential campaign since after the convention. just two. mitt romney in the philadelphia area and paul ryan in pittsburgh. 40 visits by the presidential and vice-presidential candidates between labor day and election day in 2008. now we're the surrogate capital -- ann romney, debbie wasserman scholz on the democratic side. we did a lot of surrogates.
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host: will that change with nine days to go? guest: i think you will hear from mr. gleason -- he is likely to say it could. republicans would encourage the candidate to come here, as tom pointed out, with the argument that pennsylvania could still be in play. the rate here is gotten very stable -- race here has gotten very stable. it pulled president obama from an nine-point lead -- my september poll had him up by nine, the range was 7, 8, 9, 10. now is 5, 6, 7. it dropped as it narrowed nationally. as a result of that, pennsylvania remains on the cusp of whether or not it will be competitive. host: here is a look at the map in the last two elections -- pennsylvania is often referred to as pittsburgh and philadelphia with a t the metal.
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back in 2008, barack obama won by more than 700,000 votes by women's erie gowdy, the greater pittsburgh area, allegheny county, and the eastern part of the state, most notably around philadelphia, and picking up some of the center counties. compare that to 2004, were the center of the state was essentially read for george w. bush. john carey won a huge margin in philadelphia and pittsburgh, also winning in it -- north western pennsylvania. a huge vote difference. loretta is joining us from pennsylvania, republican line. terry madonna in harrisburg. good morning. caller: hello -- my comment is that i think obama should be impeached for allowing the ambassador and seal, after requesting help three times,
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being denied, told to stand down -- you cannot tommy the president did not know about it. he is dancing around this issue, and i think it should be made a national issue and i am very disappointed in him and hillary clinton, her being a mother and a woman. i think it is disgusting. host: if you had a chance to ask the president a question on this issue, what would you ask him? caller: why did you have the skies murdered? that would be my question. -- those guys murder? why did he not sent up there when he could? host: we'll get a response -- terry madonna on this issue generally and also on foreign policy, how that is playing out. guest: let's -- there is no doubt the president had a pretty substantially on foreign policy in the polls that have been done. that lead has narrowed in the
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polls a look at just last week on the foreign policy question. i think that the benghazi issue has played a significant role in that decline. i think on benghazi, it is hard to say how that will play out politically. i do think the administration has a lot to answer for, objectively, for how it handled and what the president and vice- president or did not know any time and how they responded. we do not a time to get into the details of that. typically that would not be decisive. i do not think -- is truly on political terms, not to go into the more question the caller raised, and political terms is not likely to be decisive. it is not something helpful to the president'. it will likely not decide the
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election, but is still in the polls largely about the economy. host: jonathan martin -- a few days ago in politico.com i.p. writes that republicans are genuinely intrigued and the prospect of pennsylvania. they may strike with advertising in the philadelphia and pittsburgh markets. guest: that is what we have just been talking about. if weput it this way -- give governor romney virginia and florida, not out of the question period to 140 electoral votes with the state seats -- the magic numbers to a 70. ohio has a team, which is why they are seriously competing -- that gets into 266, 4 short. therefore he only has to win one of the other four baburam states view of uncovering -- battleground states that you
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have been covering. if he wins one. if he loses ohio, he needs a combination of three of the four, a much bigger hurdle. if he could win pennsylvania, that is 20 electoral votes. the thinking is that he has got to win one or the other. he has got to win pennsylvania or ohio. if he wins pennsylvania and the president were to lose my stay, i think he loses the presidential election. everybody could see that. pennsylvania in a sense, one way i think about this, becomes the firewall for president obama. it becomes the ultimate fire wall. the real question is, if what happens in virginia, which is very close, florida looks like it is tilting a little toward romney, it is like a chess board. what do republicans have to think about -- by the way, they
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have tens of millions of dollars that they probably can i use in other states which they could dump into pennsylvania. if they could miraculously when a, that would change the dynamic of the presidential alexian and probably lead to irani victory. -- a romney victory. i want to remind my fellow people that to vote is a sacred duty and we have to come out in force in this election. host: thank you for the call. on that point -- guest: turnout has mirrored the national average. we're all looking at that -- some of us do not think the turnout will reach what it was in 2008. the standard that i think is better use of eligible voters, not registered voters, i doubt
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if we will reach 60%. who knows. as you were talking about in the earlier statement with professor macdonell, we have huge turnout operations going on. republicans have learned from the democrats in to designate. arguably -- 2008. arguably they got an extra point to two, even more in the state, thanks to trappers. whether we can get above the 60% threshold remains to be seen. it is likely to be a little lower, given what we see in voter motivation. but the ground game will be key and may well determine a state like ohio, this morning's poll showed the state dead even, 49- 49. turnout is key -- it will mirror the national turnout. host: barack obama losing the pennsylvania primary to hillary
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clinton but when the state in the general election four years ago. this point -- living in the heart of pennsylvania, i can assure you that obama was right to say how people cling to to their guns and religion. will that resonate in 2012? guest: that as a comment that has certainly stuck with a lot of pennsylvanian, particularly in the southwestern part, the more conservative democratic areas. the president made that statement in a san francisco fund-raiser in the midst of the democratic primary in pennsylvania in march and april, that primary in 2008. we six week period where there was literally nothing else going on in the campaign except the upcoming pennsylvania primary. that became a huge issue. what it does remind voters,
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particularly in the southwestern part of the state, of the president's position on guns. pennsylvania is a strong nra pro-gun state. it has been difficult for gun control advocates to get legislation through pennsylvania changing the gun laws here. i do not see any opportunity -- there is doubt we'll see change in the foreseeable future. i do not know that that is a decisive comment, but it lingers on as a problem for the president. in parts of the state. caller: frank is trying s -- republican line. caller: old forge is located grebetween scranton and wilkes- barre. my question is about the honesty of voters. many voters say they voted --
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the democrat party here has to long-term senator is that are currently indicted or convicted. we have the propensity of democrat judges. having most voters, giving the level of disgust with the corruption, these convictions, would make people give both candidates an honest shake to see what they have to say? i feel, from the indication of yard signs s.c., i see romney winning. what do you say? guest: the gentleman refers to an exceptionally difficult time, to put a myopic, pennsylvania lawmakers, when we had a large number of them prosecuted.
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the governor, when he was attorney general. this is a state that historically has had problems with corruption among its public officials. having said that, i think the presidential election is viewed differently by the voters. they are not going to go back for the most part and say, my state senator was indicted for public corruption charges. therefore any democrat -- i will not vote for president obama. i do not think that goes into presidential elections, at least when we talk. voters are capable of separating the two. we also have in pennsylvania higher levels of partisanship than we do in many other states. it is a state rooted in heavy partisanship. the big exception is the philadelphia suburbs and the lehigh valley. there are areas of the state where it you do not have heavy partisanship and voter
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identification -- and i think the incident the gentleman refers to are likely to change the -- i do not think the incident the gentleman refers to are likely to change the outcome. romney and obama are in their own environment and will be decided on issues and personality and candidate quality separate to that. host: a history of eight years of the democratic state house. governor ridge, governor rendell -- they were elected republican senators in the state, including rick santorum, and now split between pat to me and bob casey, running for reelection areit is pretty divid state when it comes to elected officials. guest: that is right. we're a quintessential swing state -- neither party is capable of the state level of winning elections. the democrats went through the
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state in 2006 and 2008, what we called the iraq war alexian, local ratings for president bush. 2008, the recession election, then 20 can they swept back into control of the governorship and both houses of the state -- in 2012 republicans swept back into the governorship and both houses. the biggest edge -- the biggest at any party has had since the 1950's. senator toomey, former congressman now senator, elected as well. the governor elected by 9%. statewide elections -- we have three statewide offices for election -- auditor general, attorney general, state treasurer. we often have split winners. this means the state could go
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for obama as it did in 2008 but elect a republican attorney general, as it did. that is not uncommon. pennsylvania, despite the fact that we are seen more straight party voting in the last three elections, last ticket splitting, they will split tickets and elected democrat or republican statewide in a very competitive state despite the fact that pennsylvania has now five times one democratic in presidential elections. host: your election forecast? another nail biter? guest: i think so. i do not think there'll be much change in the legislature, maybe a few seats republicans will pick up. i think it will stay the same. the congressional delegation will remain republican. the presidential race -- i would give the president a slight age. it has become stable, his five-
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point lead on average. you cannot rule out a romney upset, but if you get pushed to a slight favoring the president as remove into november 6. host: terry madonna joining us from harrisburg, pennsylvania. we appreciate your time. robert gleason, a teacher of the republican party. thank you for being with us. and josh shapiro, a teacher of the montgomery county board of commissioners, a democrat, joining us from philadelphia. thank you for joining us. robert gleason i want to begin with you. so far, since the convention, very little of mitt romney and paul ryan in your state. why? guest: i don't really know. have been here a few times. they are making a real effort here. we have a very expansive mail program in which millions of dollars are being spent. we have 25 victories centers. we have over 100 paid employees.
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they have made a commitment. the have not made an electronic media commitment. paul ryan was here in pittsburgh just one week ago. mrs. romney has been here. why are they not spending money here? i don't know. i'm not privy. host: josh shapiro, not much of the president or vice president since the convention. guest: have been preparing for victory for more than a year. 50 field offices, thousands of volunteers going around knocking on doors, making phone calls. we are a bottom-up campaign. this will be one on the field in election day. i think the president as an organization second to none that i'm proud to be associated with. i'm confident we will have a victory on november 6th. host: josh shapiro, you're from
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the philadelphia area. bloomberg has a number of key counties to look at, among them chester, a lehigh, and others. why are these so critical to the campaign in november? guest: chair gleason will agree that the swing areas likely in the suburbs. montgomery county, that represent on the board of commissioners, is the largest among them. when you look at how that area has swung in past elections, that determines the winner. if you look at the poll that came out today, president obama has a mass of 25 point lead in the five county areas and he has maintained that lead throughout in all of the various polls. i think ronny's extreme positions on, for example, a woman's right to choose really puts him at odds with moderates and suburban sensibility in pennsylvania. i'm confident that the numbers the president will show in the
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suburbs will propel him to victory. host: as you know, he famously referred to the state as this. "to make pennsylvania close, mitt romney must win big in alabama." what does he mean by that? guest: he needs to win big in the essential part of the state, what we call the "t." there is lancaster, york, and it spread across the top. he's going to do really well there. romney is doing terrific in the "t." i cannot believe our results in southwestern pennsylvania. if you remember in the primary, hillary clinton be president obama down there. some counties it was by 30-40 points. they were are very upset about the -- are very upset about teh war on coal.
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i do not agree with josh. we are doing well in the philadelphia suburbs. this will be a surprise election for the democrats. they're not buying into the president's policies and the fact that he has not been able to bring jobs or do a lot of the things that he promised. he really has no plan for the future. those counties that you mentioned, monroe, bucks, chester, a lehigh, we are doing very well. we are ahead in lehigh county. our polls show this as a dead even race. i think "the enquirer" mentioned this race is getting closer and closer. it will be a battle on the ground. we think we have the best round game in the country. joshed just said he thinks they have the greater the ground game. host: we have an average of all the polls giving the president
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in pennsylvania and ed, 4.8%, based on all the surveys. josh shapiro, the senate race could also affect turnout. senator casey is ahead. would you admit this race is a lot closer? guest: tom smith has spent nearly $20 million of its personal fortune spreading around his anti party message. anytime you invest $20 million in advertising, it will affect a race. what have seen in the latest polls, the race is stabilizing in the senator is strong, someone who enjoys support not just in the philadelphia suburbs but areas across the commonwealth where democrats do not often do that well. he is a unique political individual, an outstanding
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public servant. he will win this race and so will president obama. one or the other may run a point or two ahead, but which will be ahead of the other? i have to take exception with something chairman gleason said. if the race is as close as he says it is common no poll has shown it as close as he says, then you would see mitt romney here. as john mccain was four years ago spending the money that they spent. this is a close race in the sense that all states will be close and this will be a very divided electorate, but pennsylvania remains firmly in the president's call amanda will be delivered by the strong ground game have been building under the leadership of our outstanding democratic chairman and our great executive director. we know how to win elections in pennsylvania on the ground. we are a bottom up party. we understand how to pull it
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off and we will. iran host: table discussion on pennsylvania politics. josh shapiro is the chairman of the montgomery county board of commissioners, a democrat, and robert gleason, the chairman of the republican party in pennsylvania. we have a phone line set aside for those of you who live in the keystone state. from erie, pennsylvania, good morning. caller: good morning. i have two concerns. if you years back, i had a friend who was disabled in a wheelchair and i pushed him to the voting place of that he could register. we voted in the rain, on foot. he voted, came back, and a few weeks later, a letter came in affirming he was a registered voter. we had to fill that out. much of it was in spanish.
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it was very discouraging. he never voted again. i'm wondering if that's going to happen with a lot of people who are immigrants. we have a lot of immigrants in erie. have done something confirming that they are able to work here, especially with this voter id thing. host: robert gleason, would you like to address this? guest: i'm not aware of that procedure. the voter id, as terry madonna mentioned, identification will be required. the president showed his idea in chicago the other day. this has spread across the nation. people still have to show their photo i.d. and i think you need to. you need to show it to register in a hotel, get on an airplane and, do anything. the state has gone overboard trying to give these three identifications to people. people will be able to vote even if they do not have a photo i.d., but they will be
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asked for it at the polls. 19 other states are doing this. the president did not seem to object to sharing his driver's license when he voted in chicago. host: josh shapiro, i want to address these to you? what is the state of the pennsylvania economy? what's the unemployment rate? how much had unions spent across the state? guest: the economy is improving in pennsylvania. if you look at what the president inherited, losing 800,000 jobs per month across the country to know gaining a few hundred thousand every month with a few straight months of job creation, we are seeing job creation in pennsylvania. the president has a unique focus on all different aspects of the energy sector and it has helped natural gas investment here with the marcellis shale. life sciences, education,
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health care. this is growing a lot due to the president's policies. he has had to combat the governor and many members of chairman gleason's party who have tried to stymie that growth. we want to see those policies take hold in continue to grow. one other issue he spoke about, the voter i.d. law, there is still confusion in the commonwealth. the severed by the republican party in pennsylvania and for governor corbett's administration to confuse people, which they do not, is something that i think was designed to suppress certain
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votes. i'm not suggesting that was his motive, but it is the motive of some republican. it is unconstitutional. people who want to vote, if they do not have an id, they can still go to the polls and have their constitutional records looked at. they will be asked for their photo id. the use of photo id has been accepted by both parties. it is something that is absolutely critical since terrorists attacked us. the right thing to do is to show photo id. the democrats are worried about pennsylvania. in 2010, we won the u.s. senate seat and the governorship. we won 112 seats in the house. we have 12 out of the 18
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congressmen in pennsylvania. we expect to 12 seats in the house. tom smith spent $20 million. this is a free country. you can spend as many money as you want to. the reason he has been able to move forward is that bob casey has done nothing for six years. he has not introduced one bill passed in the united states senate. he fell asleep and tom smith moved up. to criticize tom smith for being tea party tom, i love it. a lot of people embrace the policies of the tea party. >> tea party, smith is not going to sell to the south part of the state. i have no problem with tom smith spend the money from his personal fortune. that is fine.
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calling senator casey empty. that is wrong. he has been on the front lines of protecting workers' rights. he has made sure our environment has been kept clean. senator casey has been a leader on education. he has been an outstanding leader on foreign policy, standing up for allies like israel. senator casey has been an outstanding senator. for tom smith to suggest otherwise is wrong. it is fine for tom smith to go on the air and compare his ideas for example wanting to shut down medication -- medicare as we know it. that is a legitimate debate to have. but going on the air and sending $20 million to attack senator casey is what people are sick and tired of. he will be rejected in this election. host: let's go to bismarck, north dakota.
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thanks for waiting. caller: i would like the floor to yield 10 seconds. if i could reserve 10 more, i would like to be heard a little bit more. host: this is not the u.s. senate. caller: people who put the u.s. senate in place, my point of view as an independent is, when george bush was our present, -- president, you do not talk about the president negatively. he has the vote of the entire united states. it is the job of the congress and the senate to cooperate with our direct advocates straight from the top. he knows what we want because we voted for him.
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he made promises. it is your turn to help our president, our advocate. if he wants to make health care universal, help him figure it out, not sit back and figure point. host: let me get a response. we will give you another 10 seconds. i will go to robert gleason in pittsburgh. guest: this is america. the president has to stand for reelection. a majority of americans are going to feel he has not done a good job and it is time for a new person. the framers of the constitution gave them and years to serve as the president. this is america. it is a wonderful system. casey voted with barack obama 90% of the time. if barack obama loses, he will lose, too. he is tied at the waist with
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barack obama. caller: what i am seen is the american people are aware of the entirety of mitt romney's speech and the 47% and the war in iraq. i would rather have my children hitting good health care or my brothers who have been in iraq and vietnam or my father who was in vietnam and korea -- my family has moved around this country. maybe a time or two one of my brothers has had a problem. they deserve the treatment they got. host: thank you for the call. we appreciate it. robert gleason and josh shapiro, i will ask you a partisan question. give me one county that will determine when the state is going. one county in pennsylvania that will be a bellwether for you.
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guest: i will look hard at chester county. it is our strongest county in southeastern pennsylvania. i expect them to perform exceptionally. if they do, that means the other counties -- they did a great job four years ago. they carried about by 200,000. i expect us to break even this year. host: he leave the area around the philadelphia area when you say caller counties. guest: josh's county has the second largest number of republicans in the state after bucks county. look at that whole region. you ask me for one county.
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our most republican county in the southeast is chester county. i will look closely at chester county to see how it does. philadelphia is important to us, too. barack obama carried philadelphia by 475,000 votes. i do not think we will lose it by that many.
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